College is stressful, but it’s also something new and exciting. Some people choose to stay close to home, while others choose to go far away. As for me, I decided to go seven hours away, where I didn’t know a single person. While this could be terrifying for some people, I saw this as a great opportunity to break out of my shell and create new memories and experiences. Here’s my take on the best and worst parts about going to school out of state.
Where are the Nebraskans?
Heading into my first year at Loras, I remember thinking that I wanted to get to know the people from Nebraska. Strength in numbers, right? Wrong. Upon my arrival and talking to a few people here and there, I realized I was the only person from Nebraska. Out of a campus of 1,600 students, I was the lone Nebraskan. This made me feel incredibly small. I also didn’t know how much work it would be to defend my beloved state. Turns out, there’s built up hatred for the Cornhuskers on this side of Iowa. Who knew?
Driving across Iowa
Don’t get me wrong. Iowa is a lovely state. A state that has many of the same characteristics as Nebraska. With that being said, neither states are extremely scenic, which makes the drive home mind-numbing. The most exciting part is reaching Des Moines where I can finally blast Bon Jovi’s, “Living on a Prayer,” as that is the halfway point. Other than that, there’s nothing to write home about.
I’ve been lucky that I haven’t gotten too homesick. There are times, however, where all I want to do is play with my dog, sprawl out in my own bed and hang out with my family. College can be stressful, so it would be nice to be able to get away and go home more often than twice a semester.
Becoming my own person
Growing up, I was always compared to my sisters. I went to a small school, so even though my oldest sister is nine years older than me, I constantly got called her name. Going to a college seven hours away and a place where neither of my sisters had gone, was a way for me to escape that. At Loras, I have been able to become my own person. Not once have I been called my sister’s name while being there and the comparisons between me and my sisters have become more and more rare.
Going to a place where I didn’t know anyone was intimidating; however, it did help me build up confidence that I have used throughout college and, hopefully, beyond. Going to an out-of-state college has given me the confidence to join organizations that I had never heard of before, talk to people I have never met before, and take risks when applying for jobs and internships. The chance to go far away to school has given me the confidence to believe that I can land anywhere after college, even if I don’t know anyone, and still succeed.
No matter where I chose to go to college, I knew I would feel more independent than I did when I was living at home. My parents were no longer the ones telling me that I needed to go to class. It was, instead, a choice I had to make for myself, especially since they were seven hours away. This new-found independence has led to greater responsibility that will ultimately help shape the rest of my life.
Going to school out of state was definitely not easy, but keeping an open-mind and thinking about how it would benefit me in the long run definitely made my choice a lot easier. While I miss Nebraska and my friends from back home, I wouldn’t have changed by decision on attending Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa for anything in the world.
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– Lindsay Hottovy │ Public Relations Intern